Hydration affects the mind, body, and soul-- which is why it’s considered one of the most important factors in your everyday health. Making up about 60 percent of our body weight, water is foundational for almost every function in the body.
Being well-hydrated even has the power to prevent cavities, which local dentist Dr. Khurrum Ashraf regularly treats with tooth-coloured fillings. Water acts as a building block, keeping you strong and allowing you to function at your highest potential.
Staying hydrated before, during, and after practicing hot yoga is critical. With hotter temperatures, your body loses more water through increased sweating, which can take a toll on your body if you’re not properly hydrated.
Read on to learn five reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during yoga.
Even mild dehydration can impair your ability to perform routine mental mechanisms and impair short-term cerebral function, like forgetting a name that’s just been said. When you drink more water, your cognitive performance improves. You’re more likely to react faster and do better while performing everyday tasks. Whether you’re trying to focus or carry out a transformative pose, try sipping on some water to help stimulate your brain power.
During physical endeavors, especially Hot Bikram Yoga, our bodies use up a lot of water to generate energy and sweat it out. This is why even mild dehydration can weaken your physical performance. A scope of about two percent of dehydration can cause a 10 percent decline in athletic efficiency. The more dehydrated you are, the worse your performance will be. If you’re properly hydrated, your heart and body don’t have to work nearly as hard. With enough water, you’ll improve your endurance, ease soreness, and reduce fatigue.
One study found that people who doubled their water consumption experienced considerably less uncertainty, stress, and passiveness. Drinking more water has the power to spread positive emotions, such as increased gratification and peace of mind. As yogis, practicing gratitude is fundamental for staying grounded and feeling centered during sessions. So the next time you’re feeling glum, try drinking more water-- maybe that’s all you need to uplift your spirits.
Lack of water can influence your body’s serotonin levels and cause you to experience those agonizing, throbbing headaches we all loathe to have. When your body is low on water, your blood vessels dilate, causing swelling and intensifying the feeling of a migraine. It’s important to increase your water intake as you increase your activity level, especially while practicing Bikram Hot Yoga. The combination of dehydration and high temperatures often results in severe dizziness and fatigue.
Dehydration leads to less blood circulation, which can cause unbearable muscle cramps that are hard to shake off. Muscles typically cramp because the body uses what water it holds to protect cardinal organs rather than nurture your muscles. This makes muscles harder than they are in their natural state, causing discomfort and pain.
As a rule of thumb, make it a priority to consume a substantial amount of water before, during, and after practicing yoga. You’ll be amazed at what something as overlooked as water can do for your mind, body, and soul.
By Guest Blogger Julia Muskevich